We are 13 days into the new year, 2016. Most of us have probably made our usual new year resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, and spend more time with our families. Most Christians have probably also pledged to spend more time with God in prayer and reading our Bibles. At only two weeks in to the new year most of us are probably even doing a good job with our resolutions! It’s after the holidays and everything seems fresh. It truly is the perfect time of year to attempt to put ourselves into a new routine.
But the day inevitably comes when we realize that the new year didn’t bring with it a new version of ourselves. We are the same person we were before, with the same hurts and the same hang ups. Instead of suddenly transforming ourselves on January 1st, we have brought our old selves into the new year, and it quickly begins to lose its feeling of freshness. We become tempted to give up and try again next year.
Paul describes this tension within us well in Romans 7:
“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do… What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body?”
This tension seems impossible for us to resolve. It is almost as if we are destined to do what we do not want to do. We have no good ability to change the things about us that we want to change.
So what is Paul’s response to resolving this tension? “There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Paul’s answer is Jesus. It isn’t through Paul’s effort to change that he accomplishes his goal. Really it doesn’t seem that Paul resolves his issues at all. Rather, he glorifies Jesus Christ as the one who is able and has resolved this tension for him.
As we continue our journey into 2016, lets leave our resolutions behind. Let’s forsake the heartache that we know is bound to come with our failures and instead make a Jesus resolution. This resolution does not rely on us but rather relies on the one who has already overcome the world.
With a Jesus resolution we have hope as we journey into a future where He continually makes us new!